Tuesday, August 10, 2010


waiting on the school bus

A perfect shiny summer day and a crowd of jittery children in clusters on the corner, about to board a yellow bus, their backpacks in a pile, their mothers giving urgent last-minute reassurances, and I stop and stare at this Large Life Event. Kids from nice homes being abandoned by their mothers in broad daylight and sent off...

The vast love of the mothers, who are on the verge of tears, watching their pups board the bus. (Do the brakes work? Who is the driver? Is he licensed? Sober? Might he be carrying a pistol? Are the wheels securely fastened to the hubs?)

...and now the innocent children are on the bus, it swings out into traffic: Oh God, no seat belts!! Have mercy. more...

If you like Garrison Keillor you will love this, A Parent's Prayer. He rambles on about life and experiences, his story sparked by the sight of kids waiting on the school bus, then in classic Keillor style wanders off onto other related thoughts, weaving them all together until he comes full circle to finish the intended story. I love to listen to him tell his stories. They are sometimes long and sometimes disjointed but always entertaining.

It is that time, the annual rite of leaving the nest that will eventually lead to that ultimate Large Life Event. Every summer's end mothers are just practicing for their inevitable future, some are elated, some are sad, but all must experience it, as kids grow up and life goes on.

~ listen to Garrison Keillor on his weekly radio show - A Prairie Home Companion, find a station near you here.
~ or download the Podcasts
~ you can also get Garrison's daily update of literary notes and poetry,
The Writers Almanac.
~photo cover of Country Gentleman magazine September 1929 by William Meade Prince


Ava said...

Good evening! I'm doing some late night surfing. Enjoyed your post.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Susan, Hope you are doing okay... I haven't heard from you lately... Hope you are doing okay....

I love to listen to Garrison Keillor tell his stories also... I'll check this one out. Thanks!